5.22.2009

Urbansuburbanmultiethnicyouthministry. What a blog title!

Wednesday night I was reminded of the work that lies before my team and me. Before service I noticed one of the high schoolers that I really connect with. We’ve had some really cool conversations about God and life. He’s grown up in the church a little bit, enough to know the basics. I noticed that he cut his long hair.

I said, “What’s up Samson?”

He stared blankly at me as if to say, “That’s not my name and why are you calling me that?”

Some of his friends chuckled lightheartedly, but I could tell he was genuinely confused. I was too. We just taught that story not to long ago in youth group, but I guess he wasn’t listening. It’s been tricky to consider our congregation lately. If we were urban, perhaps we could contextualize our ministry to urban youth, or if we were purely suburban we could have a rocky rah-rah! type youth group, but that’s not our teens. If we were just Hispanic, Asian, black, or white that might make things a little bit less complicated, but we’re not just those things. Even further, if we were all “church broken” or all “mature believers” then we would better know how to program that Wednesday night, but we are not. We’re all over the place. We’re messy!

(whisper) And I kind of like it!

I like it because we have to rely on Jesus and not a program. We have to have our finger on the pulse of where our kids are in order to best point them to Christ. I like it because we are diverse. We have different tribes, but we are trying not to be tribal. We have different tongues, but we try to speak the truth in the language of love. We are even from different nations, but we are all from lift now. “Our allegiance is to a king and a kingdom.

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